Forecasters at NOAA released guidance on what they expect for 2013's hurricane season, with seven to 11 hurricanes expected. A normal year averages six named hurricanes.
Hurricane season begins in just over a week, and with the recent forecast release, motorists should be prepared for possible impacts that major storms may have on gasoline prices.
Ever since Katrina hit back in 2005, gasoline prices have become seemingly more sensitive to major storms and hurricanes, likely because of the extensive damage that Katrina inflicted with the direct hit of a major refining and oil production hub.
Last year, Hurricane Sandy again reminded us that gasoline prices and supply is vulnerable to a major storm.
It is for this reason that GasBuddy's Annual Fuel Outlook, released this past January, shows higher prices in August and September, when hurricane season is in its peak. Due to the odds of major storms impact coastal regions, the largest impacts would be on the Gulf and East Coasts. These regions may see more price volatility associated with a storm, but don't be fooled. Areas of Tennessee saw massive gas price increases with storms in recent years, so yes, the pain can even spread inland.
If you're planning a summer vacation, June is likely the month that will feature the lowest prices as demand is likely lower than other summer months, and hurricane season typically isn't as active.
We'll monitor storms all summer and try to let you know when or if you'll see gas price spikes in response to and future hurricanes.